Steamboat Era Museum
Irvington, VA
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network

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Brief Description:

The museum honors the era of the steamboats that piled the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The Chesapeake was the highway for trade, travel and commerce linking small farming and fishing communities to international ports of Baltimore and Norfolk.

Adventures come to life as you view those who traveled the steamers tell their tales through video histories. See the magnificence of these luxurious vessels with oak carved staircases, polished brass, with dining rooms of white linens and silver. Imagine, while viewing one of the dioramas, the sights and sounds of the hustle and bustle at a steamboat wharf as stevedores load cattle and produce, and excited families climb aboard for an adventure to the international port city of Baltimore.

Location / Directions:

From the north: Take Interstate 95 south to exit 126 to U.S. 17 south to Tappahannock. Take a left onto Rt. 360 (at second light) and cross the Rappahannock Tiver to Warsaw. Pass through Warsaw and bear right at the light onto Rt. 3 to Kilmarnock. In Kilmarnock, at the 4th light, make a right onto Rt. 200 south (Irvington Road) and follow 4 miles to Irvington. Once in Irvington, take a right onto King Carter Dr. The museum is on the right just past a bank.

From the west: Take Interstate 64 to Exit 220 and follow Rt. 33 toward West Point. Proceed through West Point and continue on Rt. 33 about 10 miles. At the traffic light, turn left onto Rt. 17 / Rt. 33 north and proceed 2 miles. Bear right into Saluda. Turn right at the light at Rt. 33. Go 6-7 miles and make a left onto Rt. 3 toward White Stone / Kilmarnock. Cross the Rappahannock River (Norris Bridge). In White Stone, make a left onto Rt. 200 toward Irvington. Go 2 miles in Irvington and make a left onto King Carter Dr. (Rt. 634). The museum is on the right, just past a bank.

Physical Address: Steamboat Era Museum
156 King Carter Drive
Irvington, VA 22480
Mailing Address: Steamboat Era Museum
P.O. Box 132
Irvington, VA 22480
Phone: (804) 438-6888
  • View a short film in our theatre
  • study detailed dioramas of scenes long ago
  • View scaled miniature boat models
  • watch oral histories of adventures into the past
  • learn about our schedule of children's events and 'big kids' cocktail events and lectures

Educational Programs

Operating Hours: Thursday - Saturday: 10:00-4:00; Sunday: 1:00-4:00
Fees: Donations are accepted.
Visitor Facilities:

The museum has a gift shop 'Fancy Foods' with historical childrens toys, books for all ages, and surprises for all. Restrooms and a water fountain are on the premises. The museum sits on Irvington Town Commons, a grassy field with a gazebo, picnic benches, a playground and tennis courts.


The museum is fully wheelchair and handicap accessible. A slight sloping ramp with handrails leads to the main entrance. Restrooms and water fountains are handicap equiped.


Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network - Comments or Questions: Call: 1-800-YOUR-BAY